Lies of P is a tough game. Everything can kill you, from the hardest of bosses to the most predictable of trash mobs, which is to be expected of a Soulslike game. Although there’s no difficulty setting to make the Bloodborne-inspired RPG any easier, there are some tips you can take with you as you skirmish with the humans and puppets waiting to kill you in this gothic reimagining of Pinocchio.
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Like Bloodborne, Lies of P features a regain mechanic in which you can replenish a portion of lost health by attacking the enemy who hurt you. But in addition to regaining your lost health, staying on the offensive slowly builds up your foe’s stagger and, when their health flashes white, leaves them open for a powerful attack that’ll put them into a Groggy state. Essentially, they’re stunned, at which point you can execute a Fatal Attack to deal massive damage. Thus, the game rewards being aggressive if you want to stay alive and quickly defeat your foes. Hesitate, and you’ll die. It’s as simple as that.
Battling with humans and puppets across the nightmarish city of Krat will eventually leave your weapons dull. Attack enough without addressing its plummeting durability and that blade you’re using will break, which is why it pays to maintain your armaments’ peak sharpness. However, honing your blade with the in-game Grinder does more than just ensure its optimal effectiveness; it can also give you a damage buff once you’ve leveled up the item’s capabilities. Furthermore, equipping the Grinder with an element like fire or poison will imbue your weapon with that same power, giving you an elemental edge over the violence in Krat. Take care of your weapons and they’ll take care of you.
This might sound contradictory to the above tip, but they coexist. Lies of P lets you combine weapons together. By breaking them into their two halves, blade and handle, you can mix and match gear to create something that pairs well with your build. So, say you’re focusing on strength but like the rapier, a dexterity-based weapon. You could take the rapier’s handle, which actually dictates the armament’s attack pattern, and attach it to a blade that scales better with your stats and boom, new weapon unlocked. Now, by sharpening the blade in combat and leveling it up at the main hub world of Hotel Krat, you’re taking care of a weapon that’ll likely carry you through the rest of the game.
Following feedback from the summer demo, co-developer Neowiz Games tweaked Lies of P’s sluggish dodge mechanic. Well, it needs to be reworked even more. It’s still imprecise, nonfunctional, and slow—until you level it up, that is. P has P-Organs, artificial components that mimic a real human’s organs, and which can be upgraded with Quartz, a resource you find in certain chests or get when beating bosses. Upgrading your P-Organs will do things like increase the number of healing items you have, or allow you to carry more stat-buffing artifacts. You can also unlock dodge upgrades that let you chain multiple evasive maneuvers together and roll out of a knockdown animation. Silly that you have to upgrade the dodge instead of starting with these abilities off the rip, especially since combat can be so punishing and dodging is a surefire tactic to hit-and-run gameplay. But trust me, you’re going to want to upgrade that dodge. It’ll be easier if you do.
This may come as no surprise to Souls veterans, but Lies of P’s items have descriptions that detail much of the game’s lore. When things went to shit, how violent the puppet massacre was, who lived here and what you’ll find there—all detailed within the notes of the items you pick up around Krat. However, certain Ergo, this game’s rendition of FromSoftware’s souls resource, also contain descriptions that will tell you if a rare trader will want it in exchange for a rarer item. This could be a legendary artifact, a piece of gear that enhances your stats, or a powerful weapon. Of course, you could consume that Ergo for a massive amount of it, which will likely give you enough to level up at least once. But, if you’re willing to take the risk, you could just get a better piece of gear. Besides, defeating enemies gets you Ergo anyway. You can always make it up.
Considering Lies of P takes place during France’s opulent Belle Époque, you’ll absolutely see an assortment of beautiful—and bloodied—garments tinged with steampunk accouterments. It can be tempting to dress P up in different outfits as you journey through the darkened Krat. He is a puppet, after all. However, wearing an outfit in the game is about more than just looking stylish. Certain NPCs will interact with you differently based on what you’re wearing. Maybe they’ll attack you on sight or, instead, give you an option to work together, all depending on their relationship to the attire you’ve got on, which you can read up on in the item’s description. What’s that one quote? Knowledge is power?
So, not only does the dodge not feel that great, but to be totally honest, blocking and parrying aren’t particularly well-executed here either. That said, while the timing can be difficult to nail, mastering the perfect guard will help you go a long way in Lies of P. By pressing the block button right before an attack lands, you’ll perfectly parry your enemy’s strike. No, there’s no satisfying animation a la Sekiro. (There is a loud “clang” as the weapons collide, though.) And no, you won’t leave them immediately off-guard. However, perfect guarding your enemy enough times will increase their stagger, making them more susceptible to the Groggy state and a Fatal Strike, and break their weapon. You’ll probably die a lot on your way to figuring out just how best to perform the perfect guard, and that’s OK because mastering the move is totally worth it.
As in many FromSoft Souls games, you can summon an AI-controlled NPC just before boss fights, and I highly encourage you to do so. There are some tough battles in Lies of P, with multiple enemies at once or truly, terrifyingly towering foes. It’s overwhelming. The specter you summon—a gorgeous, black armor-clad knight with flowy, snow-white hair—can serve as a distraction when you summon them via Star Fragments, a very common resource found in easy chests and on trash mobs and in vendor shops. This companion is already pretty tanky and can dish out plenty of damage on their own. However, attaching the mythical Wishstone crystals you come across to the Cube that functions as an additional healing item can give your specter—and you—added benefits. You can, say, prevent their death one time with the Indomitable Wishstone. Or, you can temporarily increase their damage or restore their HP with the Frenzy and Friendship Wishstones, respectively. Either way, tweaking the buffs your specter bestie has will do wonders for you.
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It’s rough out there for a puppet. Thanks to the puppet frenzy that’s caused the marionettes to go ballistic, no one trusts a doll. It helps to be prepared, so these tips should make your time in the horrific world of Krat a little less frightening.